Defense transformation requires new view

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When Paul Brinkley, deputy undersecretary of Defense for business transformation, began thinking about how to evolve the Defense Department, he found that he needed to change his thinking.

Drawing on his private-sector experience, Brinkley said the temptation is to think of the department as a corporation, with the Office of the Secretary of Defense the equivalent of a corporate headquarters and the various DOD components as business units.

The problem with that analogy, he told an audience at the Industry Advisory Council's Executive Leadership Conference, is that the top tiers of agency leadership don’t share the same concerns as top corporate executives. In government, the top leaders are concerned about policy and compliance, he said.

DOD published a Business Enterprise Architecture transformation plan Sept. 30 that calls for the department to spend $4.6 billion a year on information technology, Brinkley said.

"The department needs to [show] to taxpayers and to our internal concerns how we invest in technologies to meet the needs of the warfighter," he said.


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